“How is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
The Spirit Unites Us with Each Other
He recently moved from overseas with his family. Everything was new. The language was not his native tongue. The food was not what he was accustomed to. He had to drive on new roads with new rules. Working and interacting in a new culture was not always easy.
Imagine the relief when he came across something familiar. Christianity was not predominate in his home country, but this man was a Christian. When he came to a Christian church in a country and culture not his own, he walked into something familiar. As his voice joined with others in praise to God, he and his family suddenly didn’t feel like strangers anymore.
After the worship service, he ran up to the pastor, service folder in hand. He exclaimed, “Pastor! In my country, in my language we say the same thing!” He pointed to prayers, lessons, words spoken in unison that confessed the triune God.
That is the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works through the Word to unite us with God. In doing so, he also unites us with each other. No matter where you are from or what language you speak, together we hear and read the same powerful Word of God translated into our own native tongues.
When we read and study the Bible, or when we walk through those church doors, we’re stepping into a place where we find unity amid diversity. The Spirit takes us to a place that transcends time, language, and culture. With our unique backgrounds and cultures and languages we hear the same wonders of God proclaimed—the wonderful news of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the nations. Then our varied voices blend into one as we praise and proclaim one Lord and Savior. You’re no longer a stranger in a new place. You belong here now.
Come, Holy Spirit, unite and strengthen my bond with all believers everywhere by the power of your Word! Amen.